Electrification is high on the agenda, but BMW says internal-combustion engines will survive another three decades before being entirely usurped by electric or hydrogen vehicles.
"The shift to electrification is over-hyped. Battery-electric vehicles cost more in terms of raw materials for batteries. This will continue and could eventually worsen as demand for these raw materials increases," said Klaus Frolich, chief BMW technical officer.
Speaking at the brand's NextGen event in Munich, he argued diesel has at least two decades more life in it, and petrol engines could live on for another 30 years.
"A best assumption of 30 per cent of electrified sales by 2025 means that at least 80 per cent of our vehicles will have an internal combustion engine," Frolich said, as reported in Automotive News Europe.
“We see areas without a recharging infrastructure such as Russia, the Middle East and the western, internal part of China so they will rely on gasoline engines for another 10 to 15 years."
Some of our favourite configurations are on the way out, though. The BMW V12 is on its last legs thanks to tightening emissions regulations, especially in China.
Frolich's comments come after BMW used the same event to claim it's running two years ahead of schedule on electrified vehicles. Rather than 2025, the company will have 25 electrified models on sale by 2023.
"Over the past two years, we have consistently taken numerous decisions that we are now bringing to the roads. By 2021, we will have doubled our sales of electrified vehicles compared with 2019," said BMW chairman Harald Kruger.